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A Missouri teen has been charged with underage DWI

A Missouri teenager that had crashed her car into an Emergency Room exit at St. Luke's hospital in Chesterfield has been charged with underage drinking and driving. The accident occurred when the 17-year-old was dropping someone off.

It was reported that the teen hit a car before crashing through the ER exit. After the collision, the young woman was reported to put the car back in drive and struck the vehicle a second time. She was taken into custody at the scene. No one was reported to be hurt.

Under Missouri's Zero Tolerance Law, an underage driver who is found to have any amount of alcohol (.02 blood alcohol concentration, or BAC) in their system will automatically have their license suspended for 90 days. A second offence before the age of 21 will lead to an automatic suspension of their license for one full year.

Any underage driver found to have a BAC of .08 may be charged as driving while legally intoxicated and may face the same consequences as a driver over the age of 21. These consequences include a jail sentence, probation, fines and a misdemeanor criminal record. The Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) will also need to be completed before the license can be returned to the driver.

Being charged with an underage DWI has serious consequences beyond the law. These charges can affect the denial of college entrance, suspension from school, loss of scholarships and employment obstacles.

An experienced attorney may be able help defend clients against DWI charges. He or she may attempt to have the case dismissed by challenging the breathalyzer tests or have the charges downgraded by helping his or her client get his or her life back on track.

Source: CBS St. Louis, "UPDATED: Teen Charged In Hospital Crash", May 31, 2013

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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